Thursday, March 1, 2018

Seriously? WSJ's McGurn Attacks Stoneman Douglas #Never Again Students

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It was bad enough some months ago when WSJ columnist William McGurn was attacking Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller in his Main Street column ('Bob Mueller's sideshow, Oct. 31, p. A15.).  Mr. Mueller is a big guy and fearless prosecutor who can take care of himself (He also may want to check out McGurn's role in journalistic obstruction of justice on behalf of Donnie Dotard for consistently spinning bunkum on the Russia probe..)

Now, however, McGurn has come after the Parkland FL kids for their bravery and activism in confronting the maggots of the NRA. ('Our Childish Gun Debate', Feb. 28, p. A15)  McGurn began his attack  and I don't mince words - that's what I call denigrating the credibility of survivors and  activist students attempting to change the gun dynamic-  by defending the NRA's new queen of spin, Dana Loesch. This was when she - and fellow NRA slush fund taker Marco Rubio - appeared at a CNN Town Hall in Parkland.

The students singled out for McGurn's initial attacks were not named, but were identified by the questions asked one or both of the NRA tools, e.g.

A freshman had asked Loesch:

"Was the blood of my classmates and my teachers worth your blood money?"


One Junior who survived the shooting dared to tell Rubio:

"When I look at you it's  difficult not to see Nikolas Cruz."

Let's take each of these in turn, and process they are coming from students at the school   who either lost classmates in the massacre   or survived themselves. This confers on their words special gravitas and meaning not available to anyone not there..  Given Loesch's role as a PR front person and spin meister, whose main job is to tamp down outrage by shifting blame - the freshman's question was totally justified. Hell, I would've asked it had I been in the frosh's place!

So also was the statement of the shooting  survivor at Rubio.  Given all Rubio has done is support AR-15 purchases in Florida, why would a victim not see Cruz in him, especially a traumatized victim?

Then Sheriff Scott Israel took fire because "he pointed fingers at everyone but himself".  Nope, he pointed them mainly at the gun sellers, the NRA (who prepped the AR ad "You are now issued your man card!")  and the ease with which a murderous assault weapon like the AR-15  could be purchased in his state and by someone as young as 18.

Anyway, McGurn concludes from this that the current debate in the wake of the Parkland mass shooting is "guided by two broad principles":

1) The idea that the most important thing is to "do something".

2) That we ought to look to high schoolers for the answers.

Notice that no account is take whatsoever of the sophistication or knowledge level of these "high schoolers" which is arguably surpassing that of most adult Americans (generally found to read at about the 6th grade level if they read at all.)

McGurn then rubs rhetorical salt into the wounds when he continues:

"Quick show of hands: How may of you look to your teens for political wisdom? Say whether it's that daughter obsessing over Snapchat streaks or the son spending his days eating Doritos and binge- gaming 'Grand Theft Auto'"

But see, he's conflating the politically adept and savvy Parkland students with the knuckle dragging trolls who have attacked them  as "crisis actors."  THOSE are the sorry lot ensconced in their parents' basements munching Doritos and swigging Mountain Dew while they rape fifty virtual women on Grand Theft Auto.

Then McGurn goes from frying pan into fire when he  writes this codswallop about the Stonemn students:

"As terrible as their experiences were, the attack gives  them no special insight into the complex array of public policies that might have prevented the disaster.".

On the contrary, their experience -  especially the immediate survivors - gives them the deepest insight into exactly what the primary cause of the slaughter was: the too easy access and wide availability of the AR-15 and other assault weapons. The key factor- after you subtract the psychos, the background checks, the waiting times and all other secondary issues - is always the lethal weapons. Just ask Scotland after the Dunblane massacre  and Australia after the Port Arthur massacre -  both occurring in 1996.

In each case, the nation in question immediately could cut through the clutter and dross and see that the overwhelming factor was the weapon. Control the weapon and you control the carnage This is not rocket science.   Those Parkland students then, contrary to McGurn's spin,  have the most intimate insights into the events and from that know exactly what needs to be done:banning all assault rifles nationally like Maryland did last year at state level.

McGurn's most offensive and egregious spin came next when he appeared to put down the Rightist loons who were "missing the point' by accusing the students of being "actors" or using "scripted" remarks, i.e.presumably handed them by real liberal anti-gun activists. He wrote:

"These teens do not need to be scripted. Their youth and earnestness makes it all but impossible for any counter argument without looking indifferent to the horror  these kids have been through. If you don't agree with what they want they seem to suggest you are OK with mass shootings."

So McGurn damns them with a kind of faint praise (or fake pity) on account of their "violent experience", But he  also suggests no argument can be made against them because -  they have too much sympathy?!  This is a cop out only a toad like McGurn could make, especially when he actually followed it up by the earlier quoted BS, e.g. "Quick show of many of you look to teens for political advice etc."

In other words, McGurn isn't the least bit phased by the "earnestness" of the #NeverAgain students.  He just finds their arguments too intense, real and unchallengeable for his liking, so better to first suggest there are no counters that can be advanced, and second...hell they're mostly just teens playing video games and stuffing their faces with Doritos in their parents' basements - so why take advice from them? Transl. Why take their movement seriously at all, it could well as be a Tide pods eating contest. Besides it won't last. (Which is the take of way too many adults).

Disgusting, and the students themselves ought to be enraged  by this display of yellow op-ed journalism as well. But hey, for McGurn it's par for the course - especially when he's raging about how many fetuses need to be saved. (But evidently he doesn't care too much about the already born).

At the end, McGurn tries to turn the tables on all progressive opponents of these weapons by citing a Guardian UK writer (a "liberal",  of course) who:

"conceded she was shocked by how little evidence there was behind gun control policies."

But  he (and she)  may have missed the memo that there's a good reason for "little evidence" in circulation.. It has to do with the N.R.A.-backed Dickey Amendment, which was passed in 1996- named for the congress critter  who sponsored it, former Representative Jay Dickey, an Arkansas Republican..

It reads: “None of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”. In other words, actual research was to be suppressed in the interest of the NRA gun lobby and culture.  Reinforcing this, reporter Sam Roberts wrote last year in The Times, that the legislation “stripped $2.6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionthe precise amount budgeted for a study of the health effects of shootings.”

Had the Guardian liberal reporter not been hobbled and blinded by this reason for deficient information she'd have learned of a CDC finding from the early 90s that there are three times more homicides in families that own  guns than those that don't.

In the meantime, William McGurn at the very least owes those students at Stoneman an apology for the disparaging and vile way he put them down.

On the positive side of the news, Dick's Sporting Goods stores have now ceased all sales of assault style rifles.  On the negative side, we learned this a.m. (CBS) the guntards are again freaking out that their precious kill weapons will be seized so sales of AR-15s have now increased by threefold since the Parkland FLA shooting.

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Let's be honest with one another. The sensible thing to do is to ban the private possession of high capacity, semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity semi-automatic pistols. Ban new sales and launch an aggressive program to buy back these guns. The deranged 19 year old who killed seventeen people did so in four minutes, getting off at least 100 hundred rounds. These weapons have no place in civil society. They are designed to inflict maximum damage to an enemy--they need to be restricted to the military and law enforcement personnel. Banning them won't stop suicides or "ordinary" homicides but experience shows that a ban will make mass shootings rare and less lethal.

I'm an avid bird hunter and have several shotguns, a couple of deer rifles, and a couple of handguns. I enjoy target shooting with friends. I am not anti-gun. But I am appalled by the NRA's and Republican allies' refusal to get assault weapons off the street. Sure, it's about mental illness but it's also about the GUN.

Easy access to these weapons of mass murder have nothing to do with insuring our freedom. In fact, they make us less free. The mass shootings of the past decade have blighted a generation of youngsters who have had to endure active shooter drills. When I was a kid, fire drills were occasions of levity, almost as good as recess. Ask yourself in which nation do school children feel freer from the specter of mass murder: Denmark or England or the U.S.?

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